CHS seniors excel in attracting scholarships
More than $7 Million Scholarships for 2018 are more than $58,000 higher than the previous record, set in 2017
District 56 seniors earned more than $58,000 more in scholarship money this past academic year than the previous record year, which was 2017.
The Class of 2018’s $7,371,724 establishes a record for scholarship offers to Clinton High School graduates. The increase - $58,516 above the Class of 2017 – came despite two “drawbacks.” This class had nine fewer graduates and three fewer Palmetto Fellows, Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields reported to the school board Monday night.
“We are doing great things. We just need to tell people about them,” board member Tammy Stewart said. “We need to be explaining to people what we are doing.”
The school board also acknowledged the 25 Clinton High and Clinton Middle School students who scored perfect 100s on End-of-Course tests, and thanked volunteers Jim Bo Langston and David Bell for their above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty work on behalf of Team Clinton. They drove a Cooper Motor Company cargo van 3,480 miles to and from Colorado so the CHS and CMS Science Olympiad teams – the South Carolina State Champions – could have their own equipment for the National Competition.
Stewart said District 56 could get more respect and assistance from the Laurens County government and the Legislative Delegation if only these officials knew the outstanding work going on within the district. At a recent community leaders’ meeting, D56 officials were given the message, “if you’re not part of the economic development toward Greenville County – that is the priority – then you need to stand aside, or be pushed aside,” Chairman Jim Barton said. “Maybe, I’m just paranoid. But we were told that pretty clearly.”
Referring to the idea of District 56 and 55 proposed consolidation, and other issues in the SC General Assembly affecting education, Barton said, “I will be very aware of what goes on in the future.”
“We have done some wonderful things that people just aren’t aware of,” Stewart said.
O’Shields said those achievements continue during the summer – Gifted and Talented Artistic Camp, on-going Summer Reading Camps, Gear Up activities, two sites for summer feeding, five students participating in computer programming internships, 15 students attending enrichment at Clemson University, and seven CAT students attending Business Week at Presbyterian College. (CAT is the Carolina Alliance for Technology.)
O’Shields said, “Summer is not a time for many people to be off. They are re-tooling for next year.”
In other business, the board gave first reading to a FY19 budget based on this year’s budget figures. The move is necessary because a state legislature conference committee will not make a budget recommendation until sometime next month. That puts passage of the state budget – including per-pupil spending and raises for teachers – way behind the normal June 30 adoption date. School districts cannot accurately develop their budget until the state adopts its budget, and the Governor signs the document.
Stewart was the lone board member voting “no” – she said the board was promised time to fully discuss coaching stipends and athletic spending before a FY 19 budget is adopted, even on first reading at this year’s spending levels.
The board will not have a July meeting; however, the board could be called into session July 30 to give the District 56 General Fund budget final approval, once state spending is set. Also, the board was told, the budget is a guide – spending can be amended at any time during the fiscal year, based on revenues.